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Rene C. Davidson Small Claims - Oakland, CA

Courthouse in Alameda County, CA

Last updated at 2022-05-18T21:18:04.595Z

Important information

Courthouse info


1225 Fallon Street, Oakland CA 94612

Court fees

Up to $100

Contact info

Mailing Address

1225 Fallon Street, Oakland CA 94612

Filing info

Average days to process

2-10 business days

Daily life in Alameda County is full of surprises, and sometimes that surprise involves going to small claims court. You may have run into a situation where someone owes you money and refuses to pay you for whatever reason. Or you may have run into a situation where you had to pay out of pocket for a repair, but you're not getting reimbursed. At this point, you have the option of filing a claim in Alameda small claims court in order to recover your money. The following is a guide to help you with your filing.

You can also go online to file your pleadings and documents.

Hearings are held at the Hayward Hall of Justice and the Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse. The address for the Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse is:

661 Washington St.

Oakland, CA 94607

Types of Cases You Can File in Alameda Small Claims Court

Alameda small claims court only allows you to file one type of claim for compensation, but you can sue a:

  • Individual
  • Business
  • Government agency

An individual can sue for up to $10,000 and a business can sue for a maximum of $5,000.

As of November 1, 2021, you can sue or be sued for rental debt related to COVID-19. Landlords can sue their tenants for more than $10,000.

Preparing to File Your Case in Alameda Small Claims Court

The California Courts system offers a guide to help you determine if you should file a claim in small claims court, and how to proceed. You can download the forms for filing a case from the website. Follow each step closely and make sure you've filled out each section correctly to avoid having your claim invalidated by an error.

You can research your case and learn about how to prepare for a specific type of complaint you wish to bring before the court. The California Courts website provides a variety of resources for you to study as you prepare. It's a wise idea to follow all the lines of research offered as it enables you to properly prepare your claim.

The Cost of Filing Your Claim

The cost of filing a small claim depends on the amount you're seeking. The fee schedule is as follows:

  • $30 for claims of $1,500 or less
  • $50 for claims of more than $1,500 to $5,000
  • $75 for claims of more than $5,000 to $10,000

Opting for Mediation Instead of Going to Court

The California Courts offer mediation as an alternative to going to small claims court. The process of mediation is similar to the hearing process in court, but the mediator won't make you accept their decision as binding unless you want to. Instead, the mediator looks at both sides of the case, listens to both parties, and suggests an equitable resolution.

If both parties agree upon the resolution offered by the mediator, you'll both sign an agreement, also known as a settlement. In the event that neither of you can agree with the mediator, you still have the option to go to court and have a judge hear your case.

What to Expect From a Court Hearing

The court hearing involves a judge hearing both sides of the case and deciding of one party or another. Make sure to prepare your statements and questions prior to your court date. You can write them down and refer to them as you discuss your case with the judge.

After both parties are heard in court, the judge will review the evidence, may ask for clarification, then make a decision or ruling. The judge's ruling is binding and the losing party has to accept the outcome or appeal if they're a defendant.


Do I need a lawyer to file a claim?

No, the court specifically prohibits plaintiffs from retaining a lawyer for help with their case.

How do I get the money awarded to me?

You have to collect the money on your own if you win. The court can only order the defendant to pay you what's been awarded. However, the California Courts has a guide to help you collect.

Can I appeal the judge's decision?

You can appeal the judge's decision if you are the defendant, but you can't appeal if you initiated the case.

Other courthouses in Alameda County

Hayward Hall of Justice Small Claims - Hayward, CA

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